While there are many skills that are necessary for success, communication skills are among the most important. Your communication skills can make or break your career. If you are good at communicating, there is a good chance that you will quickly advance in your career. On the other hand, if you are bad at communicating then it would be difficult for you to move higher in your career.
To get into college or to get a job...
You will need good communication skills to make sure your application letter is read and acted upon and you will need to communicate well during your interview if you want to get accepted or hired.
To do well in college or your job...
You will need to ask questions, get information, discuss problems, understand and give instructions, work in teams, interact with co-workers, customers and/or clients. Being successful in any of these activities will require good communication skills.
Before you get to your career or college it is crucial that you also understand that there are various ways to communicate; if you know about this, you will likely improve your communication skills and be a more successful student and person overall.
Know The Context
When communicating with others try to find out more about their context to make your communication more effective. For example, if you are speaking with a college representative about your chances of being admitted, don’t begin the conversation by saying “I want to go to your school,” instead consider asking “What is the usual academic profile of your freshmen class?” This will give you a better idea of the context the university representative is working with and your conversation will be more effective.
Watch Your Body Language
Most people are unaware that their body language also communicates a message. Be aware of what your body language is saying. For example, don’t fold your arms when you’re listening to someone’s response to a question you ask. Also, look at people in the eye and try not to roll your eyes or sigh or react to other people’s verbal language with your body language. If you have something to say, say it, but make sure you know what your body language is also communicating.
Many people feel that listening is a secondary skill in communication to speaking. This is not the case. When you communicate with others show that you are actively listening by asking clarifying questions about the topic. For example, ask someone “Is this what you mean?” or “Did I hear you say?” Showing that you are interested in what someone has to say shows your good manners and your ability to listen actively and engage in effective communication. It is also a sign of respect.